Plane Finder is a powerful flight tracker that works using the real-time flight data transmitted from an aircraft. It’s a simple and effective piece of software that works on phones and tablets – but that hides the incredible power under the hood.

For this to work, a sophisticated data-collection network is required – one that gathers flight data all over the world, to feed our flight tracking apps. That’s where the Plane Finder ADS-B Receiver comes in. ADS-B stands for Automatic Dependant Surveillance Broadcast, and as the name suggests, it’s a kind of surveillance technology.

Data is periodically transmitted from an aircraft equipped with ADS-B. The data contains the aircraft’s identification, current position, altitude, and velocity. This information is available to any capable receiver. That includes Air Traffic Control, other ADS equipped planes and of course, Plane Finder!

But for Plane Finder to work, we need a network to collect flight data. The denser the network, the better the quality of the data – and our network is extremely well supplied, thanks to our global receivers.

We love the network of enthusiasts, pilots, crew and plane spotters that have helped make Plane Finder such a great success – and you could join in too.

How to Get a Free ADS-B Receiver from Plane Finder

Anyone can share flight data with Plane Finder. But did you know that you can also apply to get your hands on a free ADS-B receiver? You could soon join our growing global network with a Plane Finder Radar – an internet connected, flight tracking ADS-B receiver that plugs your data straight into Plane Finder.

We’ll consider your application based on our current coverage – and then supply the unit along with the suite of Plane Finder apps.

Or if you prefer, you can buy your own Plane Finder Radar outright.

How to Set Up Plane Finder Radar

The Plane Finder Radar needs to be connected to the internet at all times. The bandwidth impact is low, but it’s best to have an uncapped broadband package to cover all of your internet usage.

You’ll also need an ADS-B (1090MHz) antenna – and the best operating conditions for these antennae are beautiful, clear elevated views, where the whole sky can be seen – from horizon to horizon.

But we know not everyone can live on top of a mountain. If a spot would be good enough for a TV aerial, it should be good for an ADS-B antenna too: an unobstructed point, free of equipment that could cause interference, with a clear view of most of the sky.

If you would like to know more about how to keep your ADS-B antenna happy, read our blog post.

Use Plane Finder for Easier Flight Tracking

Even without an antenna or an ADS-B receiver, anybody can download and use Plane Finder – the real-time flight tracker. Our iOS and Android apps put powerful flight tracking in the palm of your hand.

We hope you found this article helpful. We're a small team of enthusiasts dedicated to making live plane tracking available to everyone at the touch of a button. If you'd like to find out more why not try out one of our apps for your Android or iOS device?

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